First-term Atlantic County Freeholder Ashley Bennett of Egg Harbor Township just nominated Dr. Thelma Witherspoon for her 3rd District Freeholder seat.
A candidate for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District, Bennett is not running again this year for the freeholder seat, which she snagged in an upset – or under game-changed circumstances – three years ago.
Bennett’s speech at the front of the room in support of Witherspoon here came as a surprise to at least one delegate who earlier told InsiderNJ he thought Bennett might abandon her congressional run to run again for freeholder.
But it didn’t happen.
Bennett’s decision to back Witherspoon for her hard-won freeholder seat showed her willingness to put everything on the 2nd District Congressional run.
Witherspoon accepted the nomination and pledged to Democrats here – to cheers – that she would keep the seat in the Democrats’ column.
“That’s going to be tough,” a source in the room grunted, acknowedging the district.
Bennett later announced her decision to suspend her campaign today and did not immediately back someone else in the CD2 contest.
“I’m the only one who has ever been elected,” Bennett told the delegates. “I’m no longer going to allow power, privelge or class” to dictate the outcome.
She seemed to be gearing up to run for congress anyway in the face of the conventional wisdom, then drew gasps when she suddenly announced she was out.
“I’m not bitter, but I am better,” said Bennett, a social worker by trade.
People promptly jumped out their seats to offer applause.